Florence of Arabia: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2004 - Fiction - 253 pages
4 Reviews
The bestselling author who made mincemeat of political correctness inThank You for Smoking, conspiracy theories inLittle Green Men, and Presidential indiscretionsNo Way to Treat a First Ladynow takes on the hottest topic in the entire world–Arab-American relations–in a blistering comic novel sure to offend the few it doesn’t delight. Appalled by the punishment of her rebellious friend Nazrah, youngest and most petulant wife of Prince Bawad of Wasabia, Florence Farfarletti decides to draw a line in the sand. As Deputy to the deputy assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, Florence invents a far-reaching, wide-ranging plan for female emancipation in that part of the world. The U.S. government, of course, tells her to forget it. Publicly, that is. Privately, she’s enlisted in a top-secret mission to impose equal rights for the sexes on the small emirate of Matar (pronounced “Mutter”), the “Switzerland of the Persian Gulf.” Her crack team: a CIA killer, a snappy PR man, and a brilliant but frustrated gay bureaucrat. Her weapon: TV shows. The lineup on TV Matar includesA Thousand and One Mornings,a daytime talk show that features self-defense tips to be used against boyfriends during Ramadan; an addictive soap opera featuring strangely familiar members of the Matar royal family; and a sitcom about an inept but ruthless squad of religious police, pitched as “Friendsfrom Hell.” The result: the first deadly car bombs in the country since 1936, a fatwa against the station’s entire staff, a struggle for control of the kingdom, and, of course, interference from the French. And that’s only the beginning. A merciless dismantling of both American ineptitude and Arabic intolerance,Florence of Arabiais Christopher Buckley’s funniest and most serious novel yet, a biting satire of how U.S. good intentions can cause the Shiite to hit the fan. From the Hardcover edition.

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User Review  - iftyzaidi - LibraryThing

Well its Christopher Buckley so one can expect some eviscerating satire and plenty of laughs (though I didn't think it was anywhere near as funny as [Little Green Men].) The subject matter looks ... Read full review

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User Review  - Clif - LibraryThing

In the spirit of Lawrence of Arabia who freed the Arabs, so also Florence of Arabia bravely set out to free the women of the Middle East from gender injustice in an oppressive theocracy. Every ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

CHRISTOPER BUCKLEY is the author of ten books and the founding editor of Forbes FYI magazine, but is proudest of the fact that he recently had a ten-and-a-half-hour lunch with Christopher (no relation) Hitchens. He (Buckley, not Hitchens) was managing editor of Esquire at age 24, and worked as a merchant marine and a White House speechwriter. He was awarded the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, but lost it during the lunch with Hitchens. Florence of Arabia is his first and probably last Middle East comedy.

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